How To Test an Inductor


In this article, we will go over one main test to check whether an inductor is good or not, all by utilizing the ohmmeter of a digital multimeter.

Test an Inductor with a Multimeter in the Ohmmeter Setting for Resistance

The best test to check whether an inductor is good or not is by testing the inductor's resistance with your multimeter set to the ohmmeter setting.

By taking the inductor's resistance, we can determine whether the inductor is good or bad.

We do this by taking the probes of the multimeter and placing them across the leads of the inductor. The orientation doesn't matter, because resistance isn't polarized.

Inductor Resistance Test

The inductor should read a very low resistance across its terminals, only a few ohms. If an inductor reads a high resistance, it is defective and should be replaced in the circuit.

If an inductor is reading very, very small resistance, less than an ohm (very close to 0Ω), this may be a sign that it's shorted. Functional inductors normally read a few ohms, greater than 1Ω and normally less than 10Ω. This is a healthy range for an inductance value. Outside this range and this is normally a sign the inductor is bad.

So a resistance check is a simple but effective method for finding out if an inductor is defective or not.

Related Resources

Inductive Reactance

Inductor Impedance Calculator

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